All eyes are on the Chinese economy because of its slowdown and concerns that its problems will extend to the rest of the world. To understand China’s economic situation, you need robust data. But how reliable is government-issued information, and is it a good gauge of the economy’s performance? Economists John Fernald, Eric Hsu and Mark M. Spiegel explore this topical subject, and while they don’t find clear evidence of manipulation, they note that even Chinese authorities don’t put much stock in official GDP reports. getAbstract recommends this illuminating study to economists, investors and China watchers for its insights on the real measures of economic activity in China.
In this summary, you will learn
- Whether Chinese government data on its economy is accurate;
- What research using an external, independent measure reveals; and
- Which indicators surpass GDP in accurately assessing the Chinese economy.
About the Authors
John Fernald and Mark M. Spiegel are economists with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Eric Hsu is a PhD candidate in economics at the University of California at Berkeley.